New Delhi, Jan 23 (UNI) The case for India using bio-fuel is very different from countries like Brazil which have gone for such fuel in a massive way.
Brazil, where 40 per cent of car fleet run on biodiesel, has much less population than India, but much more agriculture land, says Charge' D' Affaires at the Embassy of Brazil Jose carlos Fonseca.
''While comparing the desirability of bio-fuel in the two countries, it should not be forgotten that only around eight per cent of the population in our country was engaged in agriculture while in India this number was around 70 per cent,'' Mr Fonseca said talking to UNI on the sidelines of an event organised by the Discovery Channel.
Notably, agribusiness accounts for 20 per cent of the GDP of Brazil, while most of its population lives in urban areas.
Mr Fonseca said some countries have been unjustly critical of Brazil that it has been sacrificing its food production for producing bio-fuel without understanding the fact that the ratio of agricultural land to its population was big enough to save it from a situation of food scarcity.
He said his country had no option but to go in for bio-fuel in 1970s when the prices of petrol in the international market skyrocketed shattering the country's economy.
''We have been the pioneer in using alcohol and ethanol which we produced from sugarcane. And that we did on war footing, but not by sacrificing the food production,'' he addd.
In his view, India had time to explore other options as it had massive reserves of coal, but in the 1970s Brazil had not yet explored its pertroleum and natural gas reserves, while it had no coal.
After Brazil discovered its petrol and natural gas reserves, which brought down the prices of these fuels, it developed flexi-fuel engines which could use both ethanol and alcohol and petrol.
These engines have been a massive success and have been exported to other countries too.
Talking about the energy mix of his country, he said 25 per cent of its enegry need come from bio-fuel, four to five per cent from nuclear energy, 30 per cent from hydroelectricity and the rest from wind and sun and petrol.
Replying to a question on the massive deforestation in the zone, he said Amazon was still the country's largest rainforest area, and of late various checks had been introduced to conserve the forests.
To a question on the responsibility of growing economies like Brazil, India and China regarding cuts in carbon emissions to tackle climate change, he said the responsibility should be based on who pays for what.
''It is the western countries which have been mainly responsible for most of the emissions of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that have led to global warming, so this factor should be kept in mind while fixing responsibility and assigning remedial action,'' he said.
However, the Brazilian diplomat felt that in today's situation, no one can run away from the debate, but the main challenge was how to strike a balance between climate change action and developmental need of the poor nations.
UNI NAZ SB AS1448